How to make your own wrist-rest

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If you spend a lot of time at your computer, and I know you do, a wrist-rest is a must.

Especially during these winter months, when desks, tabletops, and other work surfaces tend to get chilly. Of course, a properly elevated wrist is also less likely to develop repetitive-stress problems.

You can buy a wrist-rest, sure, but why spend money when you can make your own using any number of household objects?

For example, I often work standing up at the bar-height section of our kitchen counter. It's made of granite, so it can get really cold.

My solution: a soft, smooth towel or washcloth, folded roughly to the size of a coaster. It provides not only cushion and elevation, but also insulation.

If you have an old mouse-pad lying around, you can cut it into quarters and stack two or three of the pieces for an equally cushy wrist-rest.

When I work at a coffee shop or some other public spot, I can accomplish roughly the same thing with a stack of napkins. It's not always the most comfortable solution, but it works.

Finally, if you're handy with a needle and thread, you can sew your own wrist-rest using any suitable scrap material and a handful of rice.

What the author of this tutorial neglected to mention is that you can microwave that rice bag for about a minute, then enjoy a wrist-rest that's actually warm. That, my friends, is my definition of awesome.

Have you put any other household items to use in support of your mouse hand? Share your MacGyver-style inventions in the comments.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld ForumsSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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